Decluttering & Organizing · Franco's Wife · Memoirs of a Mummy · Mrs. Monologues · Personal Finance · The Gift of An Ordinary Day

Protect Your Family Said the Pope

Hello hello hello!

Is it just me or  is every 1 out 5 people that I know getting sick nowadays? That includes me. I have not been able to report to work for 2 days. The very moment that I sneezed, I knew immediately that I caught my officemate’s virus. As soon as I got home, I drank ginger tea and gargled warm water with salt. On the next day, I was semi okay. Wednesday was a different story. Today, Thursday, I decided to rest (yesterday I worked from home).  Thank you God for the gift of healing.

Moving on to another topic, what did you do during the long Papal weekend? Although we live close to Villamor, we chose to stay home. The pope said, “Protect your family.” If  protecting means praying, preparing for the future, nurturing, prioritizing health, and spending quality time with your family, we did just what the pope said.

First thing we did on the first day of the long weekend, was meet our financial advisor, Efren Cruz. Click here to read our past posts about insights that we gained from him. Financially, so many things have happened since we first met Efren in 2012. We paid off our Pag-ibig loan. I got promoted. Franco moved to an insurance company with great benefits. We just want to check if our finances are in order. Continue reading “Protect Your Family Said the Pope”

Personal Finance · The Gift of An Ordinary Day

The Gift of An Ordinary Morning Tuesdate

Good morning!

For the past 2 days, I have been waking up at around 4AM. I think this is my  body’s way of telling me  to get ready to return to work. Well, Body, stop it. Let me overstay in this bed while I still have the license to do so.

Let me pretend just for today that I don’t have any backlogs. Here is how  my Tuesdate with Aki yesterday went.

Aki woke up late. Eight AM is late by our standards because we are early risers. We wake up on or before 6AM. The two extra hours allowed me to read 50 pages of my Power of Praying Parent book.

As soon as he was up, I told him we are going to have a date. He ate breakfast and  changed into better looking pambahays. We were to do a lot of walking around the neighborhood so I wanted both of us to be very comfortable dressed.

 

Meet my dates – Aki, Bulkhead and Megatron. If you guys remember, these two robots were our surprise birthday gifts last year.  I guess that makes the extra calories from eating 3 happy meals worth it.

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Isn’t this smile much much better than his smile back in February?

 

First order of the day, buy tape from the neighborhood bookstore.

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It is that time of the year again when I have to do my motherly role of covering Aki’s books with plastic wrapper. Funny thing is when I got home I realized that my new tape is too big for my tape dispenser and that my tape dispenser still has a fresh roll. Not only that, I ran out of plastic cover so I need to make another trip  again today.

 

The highlight of the bookstore trip is this picture.

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It was Aki’s first close encounter with a policeman. Thank you, Sir, for posing gamely. When the policeman left, I had a mild headache after Aki asked me to explain  the difference of a policeman from a security guard and a soldier.

I wondered for a second if my son would be afraid. Growing up, I always heard the adults tell kids to behave or else the policemen will get them. We never used such threat with Aki so he was not scared at all. A semi threat/tactic that I often employ when Aki keeps running whenever we are inside a mall is I talk to mall guards and ask if I can leave Aki with them while I  shop. This usually makes Aki come running to me. The guards think I am joking but actually, I am not. That was a serious desperate plea. Hahaha.

 

From the bookstore, we walked a few steps to the nearest lotto booth!

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Never underestimate the power of a praying kid. I tell you, God really listens to Aki’s specific prayers. I am so so amazed. If you include my pregnancy with Emily, 7 out of 7  wishes were answered. We changed the prayer for the next baby from Jesus, give us a baby (which He did) to Jesus, please give us a happy healthy baby when we are ready. And since Aki’s prayers are heard and answered, I asked him to include winning in the lotto. 🙂 Please include us in your prayers too. And if you want to be included in Aki’s prayers, drop me a note.

Next, bank!

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I am pleased to report that Aki earned almost PhP 1500 in his ice candy store last month. Mega special thanks to our VP for operations and marketing, Ate Doring for getting resellers and for befriending our neighbors. Continue reading “The Gift of An Ordinary Morning Tuesdate”

Memoirs of a Mummy · Miscarriage · The Gift of An Ordinary Day

So this is what it is like to be a stay-at-home mom

Officially, my medical leave started last April 14 when I had my dilation and curettage procedure or D&C for short or more widely known locally as raspa. It was not scheduled. I don’t know what was I thinking but I thought it won’t happen until last week. Had I known that the D&C could happen that soon, I would have prepared a transition plan at work. I am thankful for the opportunity to slow down. I am thankful for the 2 month paid leave from work. I am thankful for my understanding and supportive boss, team and colleagues. But still, I can’t help but feel guilty for the work that I had to suddenly had to pass on to them. I just hope the work-at-home tools and accesses that I requested for will be granted soon.

On the first week of my ML, the long leave did not sink in yet. I had the procedure done in Medical City. Franco stayed with me. And then Holy Week. To me, it just felt like a longer than usual long weekend. It was last week when I realized that I am blessed with a lot of time in my hands. In some ways, I am  lucky that we lost our baby in summer. If it happened during the school year, I would be sulking at home with no Aki to keep me entertained. He is just so chatty and energetic that he won’t let me feel depressed nor will let me get some rest. Mega thanks also to Ate Doring. Imagine going through an emotional rollercoaster and still having to clean the dishes.  I am also grateful that even if the sun has never been this powerful, we live in a breezy corner allowing us to get some work done instead of living in the airconditioned cave that is our bedroom.

Here is what I did for the first 3 days of my leave (April 21-23)

Coached/tutored/bribed/threatened Aki to write his name and his A-Z.

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I am happy to report that his handwriting has improved  significantly since the start of summer.

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Made pandan gulaman ice candy

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Cleaned up the Japanese room/guest room/walk-in closet/storage room. These are what we are selling in our garage sale this May.

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One more cabinet to go and we can already start pricing.

 

Got more hands on in menu planning although I was too lazy to cook.

 

Hosted a late Easter egg hunt for Aki and his village pals.

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Used reverse psychology to make Aki eat veggie straws or kangkong stems. The more I said that he is not adventurous enough or he is not fast enough to eat them in X seconds, the more excited he got to accept my challenge.

catsu Continue reading “So this is what it is like to be a stay-at-home mom”

Photoshoots · The Gift of An Ordinary Day

Family Photoshoot @ Timezone and Booksale

There is no denying that I love photoshoots. I am always the one behind the camera so it is really nice to be in front for a change. Every year, I look for new and upcoming photographers and hire them to take our pictures. See here for our past family photos. Our pictorials are always outdoor. Studio photos are nice too but the cost of printing is just too much. Plus you don’t get to take home all softcopies of the pictures. Lucky me, I won a free photoshoot from Caslow.

The theme of this year’s shoot is The Gift of An Ordinary Weekend. Locations were Timezone in High Street, Booksale and Dunkin Donuts in Makati Cinema Square. Getting a permit from Timezone was not a problem. I just sent them a message via Facebook and got the approval via email. The permit from Booksale was more troublesome. They normally do not allow photoshoots. The hassle and begging were worth it because our photos were amazing.

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Memoirs of a Mummy · The Gift of An Ordinary Day

Gift of An Ordinary Weekend

Fourteen more hours to go before the weekend! Yehoo!  We will have our annual family photoshoot tomorrow. Super excited. Please pray that the weather cooperates.

Last weekend was lazy, ordinary and fun.  I wish I took more pictures.

Saturday morning. No jujitsu practice for Aki. It was his school’s family day. Last year, I missed to read the memo and forgot to bring food for sharing. So there we were with our packed breakfast, eating in our little corner. When the teachers announced that it was time to eat, we had nothing but pandesal crumbs to offer. While I was turning purple in shame, I could not help but appreciate what was happening around me then. Parents, kids, grandparents and yayas were walking around the rented basketball court, offering food to everyone. Parents chatting with each other about their kids. Kids being kids. Teachers hugging the kids and excitedly catching up with their students’ older siblings who already moved to big schools. I really love the small tight community feel of Aki’s school.  I have been to other family days in other schools. The events were highly organized and well planned. There were sponsors, a professional host, marketing booths that gave away sample vitamins, freebie bags, etc.  The families were required to buy food  vouchers from the school and get food from the accredited food booths. Each student and family member had to buy family day shirts. Maybe it was in a way a fund raising activity for the school. At the end of the day, regardless of how big or how simple a school’s family day is, everyone goes home happy. It just that for me, given a choice, I will go with a simple event where the focus is on getting everyone to know each other better.

Anyhoo, I vowed that this year, I will be a better school mom. I woke up early and made chocolate cupcakes. GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

Those crater things are melted ganache. My father-in-law described my cupcakes as solid. I did not understand what he meant until I took a bite and remembered that I forgot to add baking powder and baking soda. hihi

Guess who had fun helping me?

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Another weekend highlight is Aki’s new old bike. It was another hand me down from Kuya Rock.

 

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Is it just me or do you also find your husbands super sexy when they, all sweaty and focused,  are working with tools? Thank God for technical high schools. Franco loves tinkering and knows how to use the things inside our toolbox. I am such a girl. I don’t even know what those tools are called. Maybe once I have a girl, I will exert more effort in trying to be a handy mommy. Continue reading “Gift of An Ordinary Weekend”

Memoirs of a Mummy · The Gift of An Ordinary Day

The Gift of An Ordinary Weekend W#35 – Day 2

Read the day 1 of his ordinary weekend here. Lemme just clarify that while Aki is now learning martial arts, he won’t be taught any combative moves until several years from now. The main goal of his lessons is self-defense. I forgot the word NOT in my last post. Franco panicked as soon as he read it.

7:42AM

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAFirst order of the day: Play with the brand new helicopter. Normally, I raise an eyebrow when Franco wants to buy a toy for himself.  But since he has been working really hard these past few months, he deserves to spend his incentives in anyway that will make him happy. And being the big kid that he is, he likes remote controlled toys. He said he wanted one when he was still small but RC toys then were too expensive. Whatever makes you happy, Be!

8:10AM

After I found the missing Iron Man action figure which Aki and Ate had been looking for, Aki said to me, ” You are a good finder, Mom! You can find anything!!!”

Afraid. I think he is going to ask me to look for all his missing toys.

8:32AM

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Cry me a river. Aki cried and cried and cried when he learned that we are not going to Kevin’s, his martial arts instructor.

8:42AM

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But as soon as he saw the pool, he turned into an excited bunny.

I tell everyone who tells me that they like my blog to give blogging a try.  Blogging allows me to reflect and be more thankful for what I have, don’t have and have surpassed. Thirty minutes of blogging is 30 minutes of control regained. And with life happening too fast, a time to reflect and a sense of control are precious gifts only you can give to yourself.

Another major blogging bonus is meeting fellow blogging friends. If you are lucky, you will meet a fellow blogger who lives nearby. And if you are really really lucky, you will meet a fellow blogger who lives nearby and has a pool! hahaha. Thanks, Maggie for giving me the opportunity to witness my son’s first cannonball.  Aki loves her Tita Maggie so much, he wants to buy her a Barbie doll.

1:22PM

Two hours in the pool is more than enough to drain my energy supply. When we got home, I lounged in the couch and read my newly acquired Booksale treasures while Aki free-played all afternoon.

May I just say that I got Allison McGhee’s Only A Witch Can Fly last month for 120 bucks. To my dismay, copies are now being sold at 25 pesosesoses. I bought another copy and plan to give it to the next birthday celebrant in Aki’s class.GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

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this one is called The Large Eating Machine
this one is called The Large Eating Machine

2:02PM

Aki’s hungry again.  I love it when Aki does things on his own. Here, he got himself a loaf of bread, coco jam and a bread knife.

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Because he was so cute, I volunteered to make him a cup of melon milk.

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2:22PM

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Dadey’s back! And he could not wait to play with the apple of his eye.

2:42PM

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According to Aki, this is a  nemuclosaurus. He invented that name

2:53PM

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And he is hungry again! We all ate the forgotten strawberry ice cream that had been sitting inside the freezer since Franco’s birthday. Continue reading “The Gift of An Ordinary Weekend W#35 – Day 2”

Memoirs of a Mummy · The Gift of An Ordinary Day

Updated: The Gift of An Ordinary Weekend W#35 Part 1

8:05AM
The most awaited day of our save-the-caterpillars project has arrived!
Will blog about it soon.

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8:45AM
We are off to Franco and Aki’s martial arts training. Yes, another member of the Familia Kiki is now into martial arts. And yes, I am so OP (out of place). Last Saturday was actually Aki’s second session. Aki’s training is all games and play. He doesn’t even know that he is being taught self-defense techniques. Normally, I get bored when I watch Franco train but last weekend, I made sure that I was present. One, I want to see Aki in action. I missed his first session because I had to perform my civil duties to help the commerce in my country, aka I went to Divisoria. Two, I wanted to talk to Aki’s self-defense instructor to understand the program. I was told that Aki will NOT (thanks, be, for pointing out that I missed that  important word)  be taught how to punch or do arm-locks. If someone tries to bully him, Aki will know how to control the movements of the bully. And because I am such a crybaby, I secretly shed a tear or two. My heart was bursting with pride when everyone was cheering Aki while he practiced the moves that were taught to him. I am hoping I will learn not to cry every time I watch Aki because I might make Franco’s guy friends freak out.
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2:36PM
Sad news welcomed us when we got home. One of our parrot pets, Cling, passed away. Yakk,the other bird, was too aggressive. She kept on biting poor Cling. She also did not want to share the food with her cagemate.  We made a difficult decision to let Yakk go. Aki was really sad when we set his last bird pet free.

We are considering getting him a puppy on his birthday.  Any suggestions on what breed to get?

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To bury the sadness, we went to the mall.While, the daddy paid our bills, Aki and I went to Booksale. Daddy came minutes after. When he got bored, he brought Aki to the arcade. When they went back, I was still not satisfied with my book-hunting. Franco went to his go-to barber for a scalp massage while Aki and I continued looking for books.

5:12PM
When the two of us reached our Booksale budge limit got tired, we went to McDo. Aki’s Kiddie Crew coordinator recognized him and gave him a toy. Thanks, Kuya Iann. Aki and I bonded over strawberry sundae and fries.
GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA Continue reading “Updated: The Gift of An Ordinary Weekend W#35 Part 1”

Memoirs of a Mummy · The Gift of An Ordinary Day

Gift of an Ordinary Weekend # W28

5:54AM
As soon as I opened my eyes, I immediately checked on the bird feeder. Hooray! For the first time, it was empty.

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6:17AM
Aki tried to teach me how to play text. It is one of those boy games that I will never appreciate.
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9:51AM
Speaking of boy games, Aki invented another gun. Maybe because we don’t buy him toy guns, about 4 out of 5 of his inventions are weapons.  He calls this gun, the America gun, named after Captain America whose picture is in the Petron cup that Aki used for this invention.

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10:49AM
Aki probably noticed that his mommy was only pretending to like gun games so he forced invited me to be part of his Power Ranger game. Despite my resistance and because it is so hard to say no to a cute creative kid, I had to wear his construction helmet over my face for 10 minutes. I was Yellow Power Ranger.
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11:10AM
While watching birds greedily eat the feeds that we put in the feeder that morning,
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12:19PM
Whenever it rains on weekends, it is almost automatic for Aki to take off his sando and play outside. Happy rainy day childhood memory, check!

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1:47PM
After Aki’s bath and lunch, we settled in the couch and reviewed his Dolch words. See how big Aki’s smile was as he kept teasing me by saying, “I love you, girl”

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2:30PM
We went to Tribeca to see Smart’s Football Festival.We were disappointed when we got there and found out that we were 7 hours late for the soccer clinic for kids
Continue reading “Gift of an Ordinary Weekend # W28”

Memoirs of a Mummy · The Gift of An Ordinary Day

Lucky Chopsuey

I have been feeling uninspired lately. So many things floating on my head. So many things I want to do at home, with my family and on this blog but I feel so drained when I get home and even after I wake up in the morning. I have so many drafts in my head. So many pictures to resize and to watermark but who has the time? Well just for today, because I am on leave, I am forcing myself to make time for blogging.  Last year, my goal was to have at lest 25 posts every month. Knowing I won’t be as dedicated to blogging as I used to be, I am pegging the monthly target starting this quarter to 20 posts.

Deep breath. Here goes. I hope I get to finish 5 entries today. I am going to start with a chopsuey post, as Em calls.

Sometime last April, Franco, Aki and I went to Makati for my make-up shopping. Franco has been very supportive of my vanity project and even volunteered to accompany me when I scout for that perfect lipstick, blush, powder, brush etc. So sweet of him but I immediately said no thanks because shopping for make up is best done with girlfriends. Lucky me, I have friends who are experts in the beauty department and are always just a text a way. When I realized that all my make-up are already expired and that I need new ones, I had no doubt that it should be my fellow mommy blogger friends, Maggie and Sha, who would accompany me. More on that shopping trip in a separate post.

Because we had time to kill that morning, we went to our favorite mall in the whole wide world, Makati Cinema Square. Booksale, as usual, is the first order of the day. Normally, when Franco is done checking out the Marvel comic books and the new jujitsu magazines on stock, the boys leave me. They move on to the next store because they don’t have the patience to wait for me to finish. I, on the other hand, sit on the floor, kneel, scour for additional books for our family library and spend hours and hours there. Until of course Franco sends that irritated WHERE-ARE-YOU SMS.  After book shopping, I found my boys in our family’s favorite donut joint, Dunkin Donuts. Franco and Aki were each holding a donut and asking me to guess who were they copying. Can you guess? Doesn’t Franco look so much like Derek Ramsey forehead up?

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After MCS, off we went to Glorietta where our favorite Timezone branch is. Oh  yes, the Timezone and Gogo Balls fever is going strong. We have two favorite attractions now. We love the 5-D adveNtures.

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And this game.

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Basically, you just press the button and pray that you shoot the ball in the jackpot or 100 hole.

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Continue reading “Lucky Chopsuey”

Memoirs of a Mummy · The Gift of An Ordinary Day

Gift of An Ordinary Weekend #8

One of my goals this year is to have a Gift of An Ordinary Weekend post every month. I think that would give Aki a clear picture in the future on what we do on our family days (in our house, we call weekends family days and weekdays as office/school days)

Here is a delayed post on a fun February Saturday. It was actually a long weekend since Franco and I were both on leave the day before. However, there is nothing ordinary about the Friday and Sunday of that weekend since we went to 2 wakes.  I will just document what happened that Saturday, February 22.

Around 8AM
Aki got his dino surprise
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Sometime past 9AM (I don’t have the exact time because I did not set the date and time in my camera correctly)
After tinkering in our garden, we went inside to rest. Aki thought Ate was playing with him when she was cleaning the windows

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Daddy left for his jujitsu training.

11:12AM
Aki, pretending to talk to his classmate Margaux
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11:20AM
Look, I’m a toh-tel (turtle) (The pillow was his shell)
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12:58AM
We picked talbos ng kangkong from our garden

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Dressed Aki in his Mickey apron and toque (thanks Mae and Kuya for the gift)

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Aki: I’m a chef boy!!

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We cooked adobong kangkong which Aki did not eat.  I was really hoping that getting him involved in the prep and actual cooking would make him want to try the dish. Hmmp!
While waiting for daddy, we made fossils

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Finally, daddy is home. but before he went inside the house, Aki wanted to surprise him

Vraaaaggh! , said the dinos.

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Sweet daddy played along and pretended he got the  shock of his life.

Had lunch. Franco did not eat my adobong kangkong either.

And rested in the room. We watched a movie but I can’t remember what it was.

Then it was time to go to BGC for Sophie’s party! But before going, we had to give in to Aki’s request to eat cake in Red Ribbon.

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Sophie’s party was super fun. It was a reunion party for our n@wie community and for our mommy bloggers group.

Here is the self portait of Maia of her and Aki. Cute!

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And even if he never wins, I love seeing Aki participate in the party games.

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Thank you so much, Sieggy for inviting us!

We thought of dropping by this new park in BGC but it was already getting late. Aki as expected was knocked out as soon as we got into the van.

Finally, I have uninterrupted quality time with the hubby. We spent the rest of the day watching our favorite teeny bopper series, Awkard Season 1.

Thank you Lord for the gift of ordinary weekends.